Monday, June 30, 2008


Guess what...we have a winner for the first ever Tot's Landing Contest. Thank you to the four of you who entered by leaving a comment and guess what (did I say that already?) YOU ALL WON! Yes...I said that clearly - YOU ALL WON! That's Jen, Shannon, Mrs. Bargain Hunting Wife and Culleymom! Now, those of you who didn't leave a comment to enter, don't worry, they'll be more contests...I promise. So, the four of you who won, and don't live in Orlando who don't see me every Tuesday at Beef O' Brady's or see me at MOPS meetings (I'm talking to you Jen and Molly), then email me at to send me your address so I can send you your diaper wipes case. Congrats!

Hello all! It's time for the first ever Tot's Landing Contest! What do you win? This awesome diaper/wiper holder pictured above and below hand sewn by ME! It conveniently holds two diapers and a plastic wipe case, it's fully lined and has a pearl snap closure. I went all out for you! And what's that you say...your kids are out of diapers? Huh, well, use it for a baby shower gift or use it to throw your wallet and keys in the car or even as a CD holder, heck, sell it on Ebay. The options are endless. The reason I like this diaper/wiper holder is because for some reason, when I just throw the diapers in my bag they get all crushed and eventually end up with crushed ritz crackers all in them. yuck. Also, when I'm out in public, I can just take this case to the bathroom to do the 'ol diaper switcheroo. Btw, mine has two diapers, the wipes case and a changing table liner in it (not included - it's just what I like to carry in mine).
How do you win this one of a kind case? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which Tot's Landing activity you like best so far. You have until this Thursday at 11:59pm to enter. I'll use a random number generator to pick for me. So, please leave a comment (one per person please) and GOOD LUCK!

Bathtub Paint

I admit it...I had quite a bit of fun making this project today. My 18th month old was asleep so my 4 year old and I had some mommy time together, so we decided to make bathtub paint. Sure, you can go down to your local superstore and buy some (my big deep dark secret is that I love to "rollback" - I have a little WalMart addiction), but you probably have everything you need already at home to make your own.

Here's what you'll need:

1/4 cup of Kid's Bath Soap

1 tablespoon of Cornstarch

2-4 drops of food coloring

Small cups or a plastic ice cube tray

See that big tupperware container? Yeah, that last name on it isn't mine - it's my best friends'. It's from the chicken noodle soup that she made for me whenever I had a first baby to be exact...almost 5 years ago. I just loved that soup so much I wanted to keep her favorite tupperware container forever so that I would never forget her. Honestly, I just don't want to give it back. I love it's size and I can't find that size anywhere, so if you're my best friend and you're reading're never getting your tupperware back.

Okay, now back to the soap. I used the measurements above for each color. Meaning that I made 3 seperate batches. One for red, one for yellow and one for blue. Sure, I could've used green and purple food coloring to make 2 more, but instead I decided to be a teacher today and talk about how mixing certain colors make other colors. And when we did our first color mix of red and yellow to make orange - he lit up like a Christmas tree. He'd seen it on Barney but had never done it himself. For the red, it took 4 drops of food coloring, the yellow was 2 and the blue was 3. Of all the things in life you need to learn - I think mixing colors and making new ones are at the top of the list of "The Most Important Things You Should Know". No, that's not a real book that I know of. I'm sure some of you will go to and tell me - but if not, let's write one...all of us. I'll invite you over for coffee and we'll write our own book!

Oh, soap, that's right. As you can see in the picture below is our completed soaps. I put them in the tupperware so that I could put a few paintbrushes in and store it in the bathroom. Btw, if you're using little dixie cups like me, double up so they don't get flimsy on you.

Let me know what you think - enjoy!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Kids Love Newspaper

Here's something you can do before recycling your newspaper ('cuz we all do that, right?) :) Tape a few pieces together to match your child's length, have them lay on it and take a marker and draw their body line. It's hilarious to see them squirm and wiggle because they say it tickles - so note that this might take a little longer than you planned. But I think it's adorable.
Anyways, after you've drawn their outline, you'll proably have to draw in their shoes. These shoes I drew are a little clownish, but my 4 year old got a kick out of it. He said they looked like shoes that would make him play basketball like Dwight Howard (Lordy be don't I wish!).
Anyhoo, after you draw their shoes, have them take markers or crayons or whatever you wish and have them draw their face and hair and clothes and shorts and shirt get the picture. Mind you, my 18 month old had absolutely no interest in this until he saw me pull out markers - so he and I drew on our own seperate sheet of newspaper that you see in the background. Yes, it's taped together because I fully intended on him laying down for me to draw him - but what was I thinking? How could I ever believe that MY 18 month old would lay still for more than 3 1/2 seconds. Crazy me, eh?
After we were done, we hung this in his room and he was amazed at how big he actually was. It was a 4 year old ephiphany...he was in heaven.
Here are some other variations that we thought of...

You could go outside and do this with chalk. (we intended on doing the chalk but it was raining, which is no surprise here on Florida afternoons in the summer)

You could also tape up a piece of newspaper on the wall and drawn their shadow or profile or even shadows of other ojects that you're shining with a flashlight on. (oh the myriad of possibilities with the flashlight - that'll be a post for another day).

Just a note...I'll be at my MOPS Leadership Retreat this weekend, so you may not see any posts for a couple of days. Have a great weekend everyone! MUAH!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Win a unique baby shower!

Are you pregnant, know someone who's pregnant or are you needing to throw a baby shower? If you live in the Orlando area, hop on over to Cottage Industry and enter for their baby shower giveaway! Check out the above picture to see what you win...

Oh, and anyone who comments on this post automatically gets entered in this drawing!


The fluff to my soul

Okay, so I don't know what that title means, but I do know that the snack above is by far the most buttery, fluffy, crunchy snack that I've EVER put in my mouth. I got this snack from ; it's the best blog site that I've seen. I check it at least 3 times a day. She'll make you laugh, cry and cook up somethin' special for your family. The love story between her and her husband and how they met is one that will hook line and sink you! But okay, I'll get down from my Pioneer Woman soap box now; bottom line - you should check her site out.
So, me and the kiddies made these today and the below picture proves that you should NOT, I repeat should NOT give your 18 month old melted marshmallows. As you can's not pretty. And it's not like you can just wipe off sticky melted marshmallows - it remains sticky even AFTER it's been wiped off. I'm just glad I was smart enough to take his shirt off first. My 4 year old devoured these and claimed that I was a genius and the best mommy in the world for making them. I only wish he said that while he ate meatloaf - or anything else I make for that matter. But, along with being an amazing snack - your little ones can help you make them. Check out the recipe and you'll see why. ENJOY! Because I know you will! If you eat less than 5, you're amazing in my book!
Leave comments to let me know what you think!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Number hunt

This is a little twist on the cookie game previously posted. What I did was I typed numbers 1-10 in microsoft word, nothin' fancy, I just made them big enough to fit on one page. This one is for my 4 year old, but feel free to use higher numbers for your little ones. Like this...

Then I did the same thing with pictures that my 18 month old would recognize. Like this...

Then I cut them up, told the kids to go hide in their rooms and then I taped them all around the house with my painter's tape (but what actually happened when I told them to go hide was that my 18 month old chased the 4 year old into his room screaming and they slammed the door shut with excitment). I think I'm gonna right a book about 101 things to do with painter's tape. I never knew it was such a versitle tool, er uh, object - or whatever.

After my 4 year old asked about 412 times if it was time to come out yet (mind you it was a time span of 2 minutes) they both came charging down the hallway with the anticipation that Santa had just come.

The picture below shows that I taped all the babies' pictures in one place and just said "Bring Mommy Elmo" and he would. I taped the 4 year olds numbers out of order all through out the living room and he had to bring them to me in order. After he did, I would tape them all up again and tell him to bring numbers out of sequence. It was a little more tough for him, but he loved it.

As always, post any variations that you have. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

"We built this city..."

Yes, I now have that song in my head. But here's the deal...we have one of those roll out mats for matchbox cars. Don't get me wrong, it's great. But my 18 month old will walk over to my 4 year old and pull the mat out like a tablecloth with dishes on it. Picture 4 year old is playing quietly with his matchbox cars on his mat with a city printed on it and WHAM - little man comes over and rips it off the floor and runs his little diaper booty away cracking up. My 4 year old looks at me with his mouth wide open and says "MOMMA!". And then the next 10 minutes is a vicious cycle of tickling and giggling trying to get the mat away from the baby. Sounds easy right? Um, no. So, we invented this...the painters tape city. I printed out pictures of trees, houses, stores, apartment buildings and a gas station all by the request of my 4 year old. Yes, he indeed requested an apartment building and I have no idea why. I guess he's just keepin' it real and keepin' it fair. I taught him that :) But anyways, as you can see below we made a road way and taped down our pictures with painters tape. You can use masking tape or any tape that won't ruin your floors. You don't even need to print out pictures. Your little one(s) can draw their own or even design them out of the tape. If you don't have hard wood or tile, I imagine that a low pile carpet would work well too. Enjoy! Let us know of any variations! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sand Art

My friend Amy sent this to me that came in her son's Highlights magazine. I completely forgot about this magazine but totally remember this as a kid. Oh the memories (the ones I can remember in my ripe ol' age of blah blah). The pictures posted below are the directions along with the supplies needed, but I'll list them below as well.


Sand, food coloring, glue, cardboard and small jars with lids. Amy said that she used those small starbucks frapuccino bottles and used sand from her son's sandbox.


1.Pour sand into jars. Add a few drops of food coloring.

2. Put lid on and shake until sand is colored.

3. Put glue onto carboard, using the glue as your drawing utensil.

4. Sprinkle sand on the glue.

5. Wait 15 minutes, gently shake the cardboard and you've made sand art!

Good Luck!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Did you ever have one of these?

I totally had this joystick and I definately played my fair share of Centipede, Pacman and Q-Bert! Educational? Probably not. Fun? You betcha. But now we know that these days our kids have access to many more educational opportunities that are challenging AND fun. They look forward to learning. The only technological excitement (it's a new term I made up) that I remember was Oregon Trail. So, today, let's chat about some of the opportunities that are available to our kids. And here's the good news...if you have a home computer or even access to one at your local library - these are FREE!

The first one that we go to is It's a kids only site where they can create their own character and visit kid friendly sites that you many not necessarily know that are geared for kids. You also get a weekly email to let you know what sites your child has visited (I assume that would be great for older kids where you're not sitting next to them at the computer).

The other discovery that my friend Diana and I made was from the library today. The link I'm posting is for the local library here where we live and it has online books that your kids can flip through. It's totally interactive. Go to Tumblebooks and Tumblereadables.

Besides playhouse disney, nick jr. and pbs. org - let us know by leaving a comment about other technological advancements (that's a 25 cent word baby!) that you use with your kids - I know we all want to know!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Kitchen Helper

Does this sound familiar...

"Mom, I'm hungry"
"Mom, when's dinner ready"
"Mom, but I'm STARVING"
"Mom, can I have a cookie"
"Mom, mom, mom, mom"

I hear those words quite often when cooking dinner, and so does my friend Karen Ann. So, here's what she does. She plays "What's in the oven mitt". She hides something inside an oven mitt, like a spoon or anything from a junk drawer (I know you all have those, don't deny it) and they have to ask yes or no questions to find out what's inside. Brilliant Karen Ann...I love it!

Happy Cooking!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Holy Macaroni

Happy Wednesday...uh, Tuesday, wait...what day is it? I hate when that happens. I always hate when I wake up thinking it's Friday. Anyways, the activity we worked on today is a blast from the past. I remember doing it in school when I was a kid about blah blah years ago. Use "blah blah" whenever you want to cover up your age.

Here's what you'll need today. Paper, glue (preferable the squeeze bottle kind) and different pasta shapes (or just one shape if that's all you have).
I used microsoft word to print this out on my printer because I'm terrible at drawing. But please feel free to draw whatever name, design or even numbers on a piece of paper for this. You could even use colored construction paper or anything else you don't mind your little ones gluing pasta to.

You can see in the picture above that I used two different pasta shapes. Btw, I LOVE LOVE LOVE these little bowls from IKEA. They're about $1.99 for 6 bowls and they have cups and kids flatware that match. They're the perfect size and they can go in the dishwasher - how perfect!

Here's my son gluing on the pasta. While we did this we would go over each letter and name things that started with that letter. I also picked the basketball design because he's obsessed with basketball. He plays all the time, watches it when it's on, goes to the Magic games with his dad and attempts to play NBA live on the Wii. I'm sure this is developing into a healthy obsession (insert sarcasm here).

Here it is...all complete! Yes, we probably should've done the basketball too, but a four year old's attention span isn't very long.

As always, please comment with any variations that you'd like!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A bunch of Hullabaloo

We'd played this game today about three times. Both boys LOVED it. Even my 18 month old has a blast doing the "funky dance" and moving to the different pads (with my help, of course). I saw it at Target for about $24.99 but you might be able to find it somewhere online or even at Walmart a little cheaper. Leave a post if you have this game - I'd love to hear if your family enjoys it. I know we do!


Monday, June 16, 2008

Beary Good Pancakes

I came across this pan on and I'm definately going to buy it. Not only for my kids, but for me. I would totally dig eating a bear pancake with my coffee every morning - what a way to start the day. "Um, honey, would you please make me a chocolate chip bear cake with a side of Starbucks caffe' verona; one cream one sugar, thanks" Btw, has anyone seen those plastic things that you press into toast to make smiley faces or different pictures? I apologize that I'm probaby not explaining myself right, but my mom used to have this yellow plastic thing that she would press into a piece of bread and then when she toasted it, it had a smiley face or a rainbow on it. Does anyone know where to get something like that? Holy Macaroni I miss the 80's.

What's Missing

Hi All! Happy Monday! Hope you find that today is treating you well. We had fun today; a little rain, a little sunshine and a whole lot of humidty...that's Florida for you. Anyway, down to business. Today we played What's Missing. I basically dug through the toy box and found different shaped items that were different colors, sizes and textures. I placed them on a plate and then had my son take a long look at them. I didn't tell him what I would do next (suspense is an awesome thing to watch on a kid), I just told him to take a long look at the plate and what was on it. I told him to count how many objects there were and to name them all. Then...I took the plate away and removed an object.
The picture below shows a missing object when I brought the plate back. I told my son to figure out what was missing and I told him how many items were missing and although it took him a few minutes, he eventually figured it out. With a big grin he said "Do it again Momma!" And so the game lasted about 10 minutes, which is more than I expected.

I also did this game with my 10 year old cousin who was hangin' out with us today. I put a lot more objects on her plate and she had just as much fun with her game as my son did.

Enjoy! And please post any variations that you come up with; we'd all love to read them!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Freeze Frame

This game could take 5 minutes up to an hour - depending on how much energy your little ones have. What we do is I turn on one of those digital music channels with upbeat music and let the kids dance and when I put it on mute they have to freeze. It's hilarious to see what positions they find themselves in and if they can hold it. You can turn this into musical chairs or even a clean up your toys game. If you don't have 4 or 5 kids (God bless you if you do), have your kids use their stuffed animals for the other "guests".

If you don't have those channels on your tv, just use a favorite kids CD or even the radio (I've even played this in the car, don't worry, they're just dancing in their car seats). Btw, we've borrowed a lot of cool kids CD's from the library. It's fun to try different ones every week.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

Today we made "cookies" to color, cut out and hide!
You'll first need to get your cookies on paper. I made a template as you can see in the picture above, and although I'm not able to post a pdf of this, please email me at if you'd like the template. It's in color, but feel free to print it in black and white and have them color it in. We did one sheet but you can of course print as many as you want. If you don't have a printer feel free to have your budding young artist draw his own cookies and color them in.

After printing, with a little assistance, cut out your cookies. My 4 year old still needs quite a bit of help cutting, but the scissors that I found easiest for him are the kid scissors from IKEA. They're about $2.99 and they come with two pairs; one that cuts straight lines and another that cuts in a zigzag.

This is my 18 month old dumping out the crayons everywhere so that he could color his black and white cookies.
And here they are! All cut out and ready to hide. The cuts are not perfect and trust me, me and my self diagnosed OCD has some issues with not going behind my 4 year old to make them perfect. Let it go Delaina, let it go...LOL!

After they're all cut out have your little ones hide in their room and lay those cookies out!
This is the "after" shot. He found all his cookies and needed to count them to make sure he found them all!
Here are some variations and additions if you'd like...
You could laminate your print out and then cut them out so they last longer.
You could write numbers or letters that spell their name on the back.
You could do different foods, such as different food groups and then have them sort them into the right group, i.e. dairy, grains, fruits and so on.
You could also make these gold coins and make a treasure hunt.
I guess I could go on forever! But if you have some more ideas for this activity, please post a comment for us all to see.
Have a great day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Candy" Bracelet

My friend Jen bought my son some cool candy necklaces just like the ones I used to eat in the 80's. (by the way Jen, I had one of those myself, yummy!). My son was so in love with those that I decided to make these at home from Cheerios and Fruit Loops (no, not the low sugar ones, I didn't have a coupon for those). They're very easy, my son had fun and they take little supplies.

Here's what you'll need...round shaped cereal or snacks that have a small hole in them, we used a combo of Cheerios and Fruit Loops (my son eneded up picking more fruit loops than cheerios, and I don't blame him). You'll also need a pair of scissors, yarn or string or whatever you have that would work, a small piece of scotch tape (not pictured here) and you'll need your child's wrist.

Measure your child's wrist and add about 3 inches so that you'll have room to tie it off and then add a piece of tape to the end so it's easier to thread through the snacks.

Then make a few knots at the other end of the yarn so the snacks don't come off . (I realized that this was necessary after my son put a few snacks on them as you can see :)

Have your child thread the snacks on until it there's enough to go around their wrist. This is great for practicing those fine motor skills.

After you have enough on there, tie it off and TADA - "candy" bracelet. Let me just add the time I uploaded these pictures to post this, that bracelet was eaten up - so my advice is to make a few so that if you're out and about you can whip these out, tie them on and they have something to satisfy a hunger and their attention. Good Luck!

EDIT (6/18/08): My friend Amy wrote me saying that her and her son used Dental Floss instead of yarn...Brilliant! What a way to get a little flossing in! Thanks Amy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Library

Today I took the kids to our downtown library for a puppet show. They loved it and it was free! While we were there we of course checked out kids books and dvds and I also had about 4 1/2 seconds to browse a book section that I wanted to see, so I was able to get something as well. I also picked up the calendar that they have for the summer and I was shocked at all the activites that they had to offer for kids of all ages. Yes, this is going to sound like a cliche, but check out your local library - they'll have lots to offer!


I guess I'm welcoming myself. But if you're reading this, welcome to Tots Landing; a place that I hope to post things to do with your kids, easy recipes for families and cool products for your little ones. Please feel free to contact me with any ideas or websites that you know of that you think would fit for this blog. I'd also like to have guest parent bloggers. So, if you'd like to post a blog here, let me know - let's do it!